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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  March 11, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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bus, the early bus, and then go to work. but now they have no jobs. in part because of the same kinds of efforts we see over and over again about getting the regulations. the rulations that were not adhered to, the ones not in place, are the very ones that got us where we are, and that's why many of them don't have jobs and losing their homes. we are better than that. that's why i was one of the authors of this provision. i'm tired of seeing my fellow citizens come in, your neighbors and my neighbors, people that look like your mother and my mother. people that look like yo son and my son. tears running down their faces, simply wanting a break. they are not looking for a hand out, they are looking for a bridge.
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and so it is when you go to church on sunday, when they ask you what did do you this weekend, what did you achieve? you can say to them, stick your chest out, and say, yeah, i stopped some 30,000 people from staying in their homes, americans. then there's another argument that bothers me, madam chair, they act like we cannot create jobs and keep people in their homes statement. . we can do better than that. so i hope when you go back and you talk to your neighbors and you say -- save a $1 billion program, $1 billion, we were trying to get more but even in the conference committee the republicans cut that down and
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now they're back at it again. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. hensarling: madam chair, we can do better than trillions of dollars of debt that is borrowed from the chinese and the bills e sent to our children and grandchildren. when the annual deficit was $200 billion and falling, anher gentleman from maryland, the distinguished democratic whip, said it was fiscal child abuse. now we have a monthly deficit, a monthly deficit equaling that annual deficit so i'll listen carefully to this gentleman from maryland and when i go to church
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on sunday i'm going to be very glad in my heart, in my head, that i did not commit an act of fiscal child abuse on my children or anybody else's children or grandchildn. we have got to stop spending money we don't have. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for purposes of inqueering from the majority leader the schedule the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hoyer: i thank the speaker and i yield to my friend, the majority leader, mr. cantor. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman from maryland, the democratic whip, for yielding. mr. speaker, on monday the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. on tuesday and wednesday the house will neat at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for
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legislative business. on thursday the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. the house will consider at least two bills under suspension of the rules on monday which will be announced by the close of business today. on tuesday we expect to consider a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government for another three weeks. on wednesday the house will consider one or possibly two more bills from the financial services committee addressing mandatory spending. h.r. 839, the home affordable modification program termination act, and h.r. 861, the neighborhood stabilization program termination act -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house will please be in order. the gentleman may continue. mr. cantor: finally, mr. speaker, on thursday the house will consider concurrent resolution relating to the war powers resolution and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information and he
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mentioned the c.r., the continuing resolution, the continuing authorization to operate government which i understand will be for a three-week period. can the gentleman tell us what will be in that continuing resolution at this point in time? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: right. as the gentleman knows, our majority is committed to the process of providing a three-day notice for all members as well as their constituents to see what we'll be voting on. the appropriations committee is busy preparing the text of that and will be presented online this afternoon and the details will be in that online version this afternoon. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. now, it's my understanding we are not scheduled, according to
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his announcement, to meet next friday, is that accurate? mr. cantor: yes, i would say to the gentleman that is correct. mr. hoyer: and i take it the gentleman is reasonably certain? obviously we don't know when what the other body will do, but in light of the fact that that c.r. will be offered next tuesday, the gentleman's pre summings is that in fact we will be out sometimes on thursday. mr. cantor: we certainly look forward to the senate acting expeditiously and acting quickly on the house's three-week extension, assuming that goes well, the gentleman is correct in assuming that we will not be in session next friday. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. i thank -- the gentleman and i have had this discussion and i think we both agree that continuing to fund government on either a two-week or a three-week cycle is not what we ought to be doing. furthermore, mr. speaker, the
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number of economists have indicated that if in fact we proceed to funding levels that reflect h.r. 1, which is my assumption of what will happen according to what the gentleman has told me, and i think said publicly, the funding levels that are included in h.r. 1 on a week to week basis, which leads me to believe that if we're having a three-week extension we'll be somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 billion in additional reductions. would that be accurate? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i agree that he and i have discussed, we intend for the three-week extension to maintain the current formula upon which we are operating today and that is a reduction of spending of $2 billion per week and i expect the appropriations committee again to introduce a three-week short-term extension cutting $2 billion per week later this afternoon, consistent with the house position as
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spelled out in h.r. 1. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments and i would observe to him that with respect to h.r. 1 numerous economists have indicated, including mark zandi, who is of course one of the principal advisors to john mccain when he ran for president , chairman bernanke, chairman of the federal reserve, goldman sachs, moody's and others that the just rejected h.r. 1, if adopted, would lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs . in one analysis' point of view, over 800,000 jobs. in fact, of course three republicans voted against h.r. 1 in the senate and one of those who voted for h.r. 1 in the senate said this, mr. speaker, let me be clear that i strongly
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oppose some of the proposed cuts in the house-passed bill. that was h.r. 1. particularly the drastic cuts that would disproportionately affect low-income families and seniors. making such deep and immediate cuts to critical low-income heating assistance, weatherization and head start programs in the middle of the fiscal year would cause serious problems for those who rely on these programs. that was senator clins, a republican of maine -- collins, a republican of maine, when the bill was on the floor. let me ask the gentleman, do we have a plan to proceed so that we can, a, retreat from the uncertainty that we keep creating by these two weeks? i know he and i agree this is not the way to proceed. but does the gentleman have a plan, a, to move forward so we can fund government through september 30, complete funding
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for this fiscal year and turn our attention and focus on what i know the gentleman knows the appropriation committee is now focusing on, the fiscal year 2012 appropriations, and spending plan? does the gentleman have in mind when we might get to a plan to fund the balance of government not on two or three-week cycles but between now and september 30 and i yield to my friend? mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. first of all, i want to speak to the first part of the gentleman's discussion regarding mr. zandi and other individuals he spoke to regarding the predictions of doom because of our position on h.r. 1. and i would say to the gentleman, as he knows, there are as many economists, certainly several hundred, who signed the letter indicating that the cuts were not something that would produce the results
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that mr. zandi and others have predicted. and in fact it's mr. zandi's math that was applicable to the stimulus bill that i think most americans do know now failed in the promises made that we would see unemployment not rise above 8%. and again the gentleman and i have had a discussion before that if the answer was just spend more government, intoxicate pair dollars to create jobs, why don't we go spend it all and everybody will be employed again? we know that's not true and that doesn't work. and so we also know that chairman bernanke did not agree with the predictions of the kind of cuts that mr. zandi and others have predicted according to his testimony and certainly we believe very strongly that if you cut government spending we create environment for private sector jobs. to the gentleman's direct
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question about when we can proceed a longer term solution we don't have to continue operating in stop-gap ways, i would say to the gentleman, as he knows, it's not just the house, it's trying to work with the senate as well as the white house. the senate did act this week and we now know that the senate rejects our $60 billion -- approximately $60 billion cut off of 2010 levels and it also rejected the proposed $10 billion worth of cuts by leader reid. in fact, there were more votes in favor of the $60 billion h.r. 1 level than there were off the $10 billion level off of current spending. the problem is the white house is not -- has not indicated where it wants to go and as we both have discussed before, as i have told the gentleman, i just don't see where the leadership is on the part of the white house. it is obviously up to the white
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house to come to the table as well as the president's got to sign the bill. we agree it is much better for us to be operating with some certainty and not have to be operating off a stop-gap measures every several weeks but we don't want to shut the government down. we want to cut spending and if this is how we're able to do it we're going to deliver on that promise to cut spending but i do share with the gentleman the frustration that we don't see any type of coalescence around a notion that we should have some type of longer term agreement on this fiscal year and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his response, mr. speaker. again, i understand the gentleman's issue with respect to the president. both the gentleman and i understand and agree that the constitution in article 1 gives to the house of representatives and the united states senate
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the responsibility to raise and spend moneys. so this is the primary responsibility of the legislative part of the government which he and i have the privilege of serving in. so while i understand the gentleman's accurate, both alternatives were defeated in the united states senate. the president put an offer on the table in his 2011 budget. we then in december froze spending at 2010 levels which was $41 billion less than the president's offer which he put on the table. we have now had a -- two additional offers put on the table. the next offer was, of course, included in h.r. 1. that passed this house but did not pass the senate. the senate, however, did put an offer on the table, as the gentleman pointed out, cutting an additional $10 billion above the $41 billion or $6 billion above the $4 billion, which was
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included in the short-term c.r. which expires. does the gentleman now propose and will the gentleman and his side of the aisle be proposing a counteroffer, as i said last week, or is the gentleman's position, as i seem to hear you say, at the $100 billion figure that was included in h.r. 1 which implies that unless there is an agreement to your figure that we will have to shut down government or agree to your figure? i want to make sure that i understand your thoughts on that, and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i say to the gentleman, again, it's the house that's taken position that we want to see cuts $60 billion off current 2010 levels. the senate said it wanted to cut $10 billion off of 2010 levels. there's a $50 billion
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difference here. what we believe is we need to do everything we can to figure out how to do with less in washington. the american people sent us to washington to spend the money the way they would. certainly our conference believes, you cut government strength, you make private sector jobs. we are waiting to see what position the white house will take so that we can move forward and begin the job that we're supposed to be about right now which is the next fiscal year. as the gentleman knows, we are here because unfortunately last congress did not pass a budget, did not pass appropriations bills. we're trying to clean up that mess, so we're waiting to see what the white house's position is so we can begin to see how we can maximize deficiencies in
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federal government so we can see more private sector jobs. i yield back. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for his answer. i don't think i received an answer in terms of whether or not the gentleman is saying it's either $100 billion or nothing and there will be no counteroffer to the offer that's on the table either from the president or more accurately at this point in time in terms of the timing from the senate which got us to $51 billion in cuts which although the gentleman would like to say it's between $0 and $60 billion. the gentleman said in his pledge to america it would be $100 billion. he counted the $41 billion from the president's initial offer of 2011 spending. what has happened since the gentleman and his party made that offer, mr. speaker, is in fact $41 billion of that $100 billion was accepted in the
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c.r. that was passed which expired two weeks ago. since that time we put from the senate's perspective an additional $10 billion on the table to get us to $51 billion. the way i calculated, that is more than halfway to $100 billion. he got the $41 billion we already cut in the original c.r. the additional $51 billion. we have come more than halfway, a little more than halfway. we are now asking the gentleman, is he going to have a counteroffer for us that we can consider from our offer of $51 billion which we believe is more than halfway? i will tell you further, mr. leader, that it is my staff's belief -- and i could be corrected on this -- that the offer that's on the table represents the single largest
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cut from one year to the next since i have been in the congress to the united states which is largely under republican presidents. so i would ask my friend, we obviously are prepared to agree and have agreed on very substantial restraints in spending, cutting spending, trying to get a handle on this deficit. as you know, i'm concerned about the fact that in the rule we adopted on the first day of the session that you provided for $4.7 trillion in additional tax expenditures, if you will, tax cuts, cutting of revenue that is projected currently by c.b.o. which will lead to $4.7 trillion of additional strength while you have proposed -- spending while you have proposed $3.7 trillion
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increased deficit that is in fact planned for under your rule. all i'm asking for now is, do you have and will you have a counteroffer to our $51 billion offer so that we can then try to move on and reach compromise? if it is simply no, we want $100 billion or nothing, then we have to make a decision, as i told the gentleman, on our side of the aisle what do we do at that point in time? we obviously have the majority in the senate. the president of the united states. the american people have elected and as newt gingrich, your former speaker, our former speaker said in 1998, you know, we have to reach agreement. the way you reach agreement is to get offers back and forth, and we think we have an offer on the table and we'd like to hear your counteroffer. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: further, i tell the gentleman, first of all, the
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problem is that the $10 billion proposal off of current spending that that is the largest cut that has ever been proposed since the gentleman has been in congress. that's the problem. that's the problem. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman yield? mr. cantor: no. mr. hoyer: i want to clarify. reclaiming my time now. i did not say it's the largest cut ever proposed in congress. i said it's the largest cut from one year to the other, from previous year's spending, and it is $13.6 billion, i believe. $17 billion. my staffer, who's brilliant, much more brilliant than i am, reminds me -- mr. cantor: i am told the gentleman has a lot of those. mr. hoyer: both of us do. mr. cantor: yeah. mr. hoyer: i want to clarify so the public understands as well when they hear us is that what we are talking about cutting from is 14% of the budget. the discretionary, nondefense,
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not security part of the budget. so let me focus on that. and when i speak of the cut and you say it's $17.-- $17 billion in nonsecurity. from year to year since i have been here in 1981 is the largest single cut in nondefense, nonsecurity discretionary spending from one year to the other. yes it is, and that is in a very small 14% slice of the budget. frankly, the discussions we've had to date ignore the other 81%, 82%, 83% of the budget. obviously interest rates are not subject to being reduced. we need to pay our debt. so i want to clarify, a, that we're speaking to the discretionary part of the budget, nondefense, nondiscretionary, and yes it is in fact what's sitting on the table the largest cut we've had
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in nondefense, nonsecurity spending we've had in years. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i say that's exactly the problem still. as the gentleman alludes, we have over $1.5 trillion deficit alone. i understand the gentleman's point there being a smaller piece of the budget from which these cuts are being taken. but the bottom line is that's the problem. we've got to work harder to cut more so the private sector jobs can be created. now, i'd say to the gentleman two things. one, i look forward to his support, then, of the budget that we bring forward because we remember, as the gentleman knows, going to be dealing with how to reform the entitlement programs which are the significant driver of deficits into the future as he knows. so i do look forward to that. we will be dealing with that within a month's time. i look forward to that debate.
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but i'd lastly say, mr. speaker, does the gentleman know what kind of cuts the senate can support at the 60-vote level? because i don't. i don't see a counteroffer there. don't see the position where the senate or your side of the aisle -- or the gentleman's side of the aisle has taken. i don't see the president having come down at a level that is acceptable at all because he hasn't come down to a level. so this is the problem, mr. speaker. we have made our position known. the house wants to cut $60-some off 2010 levels or the 2011 levels. we don't want the status quo. we want to continue to cut spending. we can't come to any agreement when the other side doesn't come forward with any offer, and that's why we've been forced into this situation where we are once again proposing a stopgap measure so
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we can see the government operate so it doesn't shut down in the name of trying to do more with less. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend for yielding. let me make a point here, mr. speaker. as i understand it, the gentleman continues to take the position until we get to $100 billion there is no credible counteroffer. $2 billion a week. let me say that the gentleman serves with a very con-- served with a very conservative member, also a great member of this congress, joe scarborough. let me give a quote from joe scarborough. there are elements of the g.o.p. spending plan that causes me great concern. the belief of some on the right that america can balance the budget by cutting education, infrastructure, the corporation for public broadcasting and home heating assistance to the poor is tanned mount to budgetary witchcraft. that's not a republican -- i mean, that's not a democrat. that's joe scarborough, conservative member from northern florida with whom i
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serve. now most people see him on "morning joe" every day. the fact is that's what he said. now, we're looking for a counteroffer because we don't agree with some of h.r. 1 as you well know. as a matter of fact, every conservative democrat, every liberal democrat and everybody in between voted no on h.r. 1, as did three of your republicans over there and susan collins, who voted for it, said she didn't like the elements in it. so what i am saying to my friend very sincerely is he can preach all he wants is we need to cut spending. we agree with that. and the issue is where do you cut it from, what impact does it have, does it sustain the economy or does it deflate the economy? does it create jobs or does it lose jobs? does it help people who need help or does it abandon people who need help? that's the issue, and what i'm saying to my friend with all due respect is we have made an offer. the gentleman wants to talk about the president. article 1 of the constitution
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says we need to do this. this is our responsibility. the people elected us to do it, and the people elected us to reach agreement. and how do you reach agreement? this is what i want. this is what you want. but if what you said we have come up, we have moved pretty substantially. we think it was appropriate to move. now we are asking you, are you prepared to move from the position you have taken consistently at your figure which a lot of your folks thinks has problem in some parts. i am asking and you are apparently not going to make a counteroffer as to, we took $100 billion. couldn't pass it. couldn't pass the senate. what i mean by you, the senate didn't pass it. the gentleman is absolutely correct. but we democrats have made the offer here and there of the $51 billion. the president's indicated he could sign that. he said that publicly. now, that's our offer sitting
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on the table. my suspicion is you've rejected that offer. mr. cantor: i will say -- mr. hoyer: and if you've rejected it, what is your counteroffer is my question. i yield. mr. cantor: not to belabor the point, but i will say, mr. speaker, that there was not 60 votes in the senate for the offer he speaks of. in fact, there were more votes for the $60 billion off of the current funding levels that is our plan, so there is really no offer on the table that is valid because it can't pass the senate. . what is the democratic senate offer on the table? the gentleman rightly says it is up to us in congress, the people elect us, to try and come together and agree upon a spending plan. what's the offer? there is no offer that could pass. in the senate. we passed the house version.
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we know where the house stands. so i'm just having difficulty understanding where the offer is. so again, mr. speaker, i think the gentleman has made his point. he's frustrated because he sees there's no movement because the senate's been unable to get an offer on the table that can garner 60 votes. so the gentleman wants us to negotiate with ourselves. no, we want to cut spending, keep the government opened. that's why we are in the position we are to do another stop-gap measure so that we can -- stopgap measure so that we can hopefully iron out some differences, cooperate, trying to keep the government open and cut spending so people in the private sector get back to work. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as i understand what the gentleman's saying, if the senate can't get 60 votes, which we have seen the gridlock for a long period of time where the senate can't get 60 votes, we are not going to go anywhere
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from the offer that he's made to pass something that can in fact garner 60 votes in the senate. i regret that the senate, frankly, didn't get 60 votes for our offer. and he is correct that he got a few more votes for h.r. 1 than was gotten for the senate majority leader's counteroffer. but the fact of the matter is this is really an issue between the republicans and the democrats. senator mcconnell has said, as i know the majority leader says, we'll pass what the house passes. that's what he said. now, if that's the case, then we need to pass something that can garner 60 votes over there. we know that h.r. 1 couldn't get 60 votes. we know that senator reid's proposal couldn't get 60 votes. if we are going to move this government forward and not fund it on two-week cycles and senator mccain has said that
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funding defense department on two-week, or three-week cycles is undermining our national security, so there is no disagreement that doing things two weeks at a time does not make sense. if the gentleman's view is simply you will not make some offer that we think, and we can have a discussion about, trying to come to agreement on that, that we can get 60 votes for in the senate and we are going to fund it on two-week cycles, i say to my friend that's going to be damaging to the economy, create great uncertainty, and undermine our national security. i would hope that the gentleman would see fit to determine where we can meet somewhere in the middle. we think we have got 51% of the way towards your 100. you keep talking about 60. that was not your pledge. your pledge was 100. the way you got to 100 is count to 41. we have done that. we have done another 10. so we have come. we think 51% of the way. you don't count it that way.
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we understand that. but whatever way we come, we need to move on. you won the majority, god bless you. i'm sorry about that, but i live with it and there it is. you have the majority. and with the majority you have the responsibility to see if we can move this country forward. that's what newt gingrich said anti-can't be the perfectionist caucus as he referred to of sticking just at a number that doesn't have the votes in the united states senate. if we are going to be on this two-week cycle, i will tell my friend you may keep passing this two weeks at a time, none of us want to shut down government, but i will tell you while i and my colleagues, some of my colleagues may vote to do this one more time, for me it's the last time. we need to have a plan to fund this government for the balance of the fiscal year to september 30. it is irresponsible for us not to have that. and just each of us sticking to our number and you sticking to
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your number and just pointing fingers at one another saying the senate can't get 60 votes for anything we propose will not serve our country or our people. unless the gentleman wants to say something further, i'm going to yield back the balance of my time. >> the house passed the repeal of the federal mortgage assistance program. they talked about other items like proposed cuts to the national weather service. this is 35 minutes. >> we are waiting for the third title wave to hit the oregon coast. there are about an hour apart. the reason we know where these waves are, what the amplitude is, what the potential for damage is, the reason we were
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able to evacuate those committees, the reason we are on line right now with the state of emergency services people is because of the warning believes we have at the great work of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. ministration and the weather service. and the republicans have proposed decimate those programs in h.r. 11. so in the republican world, everybody at noathat is furloughed for 21 days, if you live in japan or you live on the pacific coast or there are some tornadoes in the midwest, tough luck. we had to furlough those employees who would have warned you to evacuate the low-lying areas in the oregon-california coast and in hawaii but, no, they have targeted massive cuts at the noaa budget. $450 million. it's estimated that noaa would
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have, because of the time of year, 21 days of furloughs for all its employees. $110 million in cuts to the national weather service. a big cut to state disaster preparedness plans. so right now our emergency operation centers in oregon, in california, in hawaii are in full swing, and the reason that they are able to be in touch with people in scattered coastal communities, in relatively difficult areas is because of the federal assistance that we've given to them to set up these centers. and under the republicans' budget, we would cut $206 million from state emergency operation centers. now, where are the states going to get the money in this ba climate? i guess those places won't be tended to either. we won't know the tidal waves are coming because they laid off the people at noaa. we don't know the tornadoes are
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happening, and even if we did happen to stumble over that fact despite these cuts, we won't have the emergency operation centers to coordinate, to evacuate people and to rescue and coordinate medical services. so i thank the gentleman for yielding. >> will the gentleman yield on that same point? mr. schrader: absolutely. mr. dicks: we have a number of indian trib that are right down on the coastal waters which -- and several of them are trying to move back because of a tsunami. and this is a great wake-up call. one of the things i'm worried about are the splites. we have new satellites that wre supposed to be procuing. this program is in some trouble, and i'm worried that these cuts are going to affect the ability of noaa to get these satellites in a proper time. and they give us the warning, you know, on major weather fronts.
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so this is another important aspect of this. and so i think this is -- and fema is another problem. i just want to rise to congratulate the two gentlemen from oregon for bringing this to the floor as we watch to see how these tsunamis hit the west coast of t united states. i mean, some of the weather forecasters have said this could be a very serious problem, and we hope it is, but i just wanted to associate myself with the remarks that have been made here and stress how important both noaa -- the noaa budget is and the importance of getting these satellites replaced in a timely way. thank you for yielding. mr. defazio: if the gentleman would just yield again. mr. schrader: indeed. mr. defazio: this all started with our former lleague, bobby jindal, now governor of louisiana, a year before last he made fun of the money that
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was being appropriated for volcano monitoring. actually, i live in a region that has a number of dormant volcanos. not extinct. dormant. we're watching that all the time. there's a potential f one that could wipe out some communities and people downstream. certainly up in the seattle area, there's concerns about mount rainier. we have mount hood and others. so all of this attack on emergen services seem to come with all of the juice that bobby jindal got out of criticizing volcano monitoring. well, i think it's pretty darn important to monitor volcanos. mr. dicks: we had a volcano that erupted, mount st. helen's erupted. when i was chairman of the interior, they had a complex system of detection. the rest of the country
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doesn't. washington and oregon do not have the same level of early warning equipment. so i think this is another thing that we goto work on. and, again, these cuts are going to make it more difficult tore us to -- for us to get the equient we need to predict when these things are going. i am worried about mount rainier. ey could have the lahar, and we have been told by usgs that washington state cod have a nine. this was 8.9. look at the enormous damage done there. we could have another major event in the future. i hope it doesn't happen, but it does happen every 300 or 400 years. i yield back. mr. schrader: it may happen sooner than that. you can't help but notice the devastate wrought in new zealand and nojapan. this is the volatile pacific ri there are a great deal of problems we ought to be
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careful. the congresswoman of hawaii is feeling the brunt of it. ms. hirono: will the gentleman yield? i thank the two gentlemen from oregon for bringing this matter to our attention. i think we make a very serious mistake that in a fervor to cut budgets and do it in a meat ax way that we're cutting very, very -- the very programs that we're going to need to rely upon in times like this and times like this meaning the kind of devastatiothat has hit japan. of course, hawaii is the first u.s. state to be hit with the -- with the tidal wave that follows -- followed that disaster, and it's still playing out. we still haven't done the all-clear sign in hawaii, by the way. the kinds of cuts that we're contemplating in h.r. 12, fema will have a major impact. i also want to say before i go further that our hearts go out the people of japan and we stand ready to assist them in
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any way. i think that it so important during a time like this that we have the resources to employ the best technology, cutting edge equipment, well-trained personnel to respond when these emergencies occur. and when this tragedy occurred in japan, in fact, the dedicated federal employees at the national weather service at the warning center were there to provide warning to the people of our islands. it aowed the coast guard, waii civil defense and other state and county officials to put into motion the state's emergency warning response plan. and this whole thing began to unfold in hawaii in the very early morning hours. i'm just grateful that all of our first responders had everything they needed in order to be able to take the appropriate actions. so they had to decide whether or not schools would be open, public buildings were going to remain open and in fact they
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did evacuate people in the low-lying areas just to make sure that the safety of our people and our visitors would be protected. so as of right now the reports are encouraging in hawaii. there has been some floodis on some islands. the damage is thankfully not severe and no reports of injuries or fatalities. as i mentioned, the all-clear sign is not there yet. so the kind of cuts to fema, as we mentioned already, the natiol oceanic and atmospheric adnistration would have seen its budget cut by $454.3 million, including $126 million cuts to the national weather service. so there goes advanced warning. the cuts would not have spared the federal emergency management agency, fema, either. and according to the transportation and infrastructure committee's analysis, cuts to fema and the coast guard would have totaled $441 million.
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. this includes a cut to the coast guard acquisition construction and improvementccounts. money for ships and equipment to deal with emergencies. a $50 million cut to fema's inroperable emergency communicions grants program. money that helps our first reporters equipment to communicate with each other. this is a huge problem when 9/11 occurred where our first responders could not keep track of what was going on, couldn't talk to each other. $35 million cuts to fema's predisaster mitigation grants, hurting our communy's ability to implement necessary prevention measures against threats. we have heard about we should do more with less. in our transportation and infrastructure committee hearing where we had the people from the coast guard come to testify, these kinds of cuts means that they really are facing doing less with less. and we also hear about families
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need to -- they understand the need to cut. well, when families cut, they do less with less. so these kinds of slogans and the kind of meat axe approach to the kind of cuts that we are looking at in h.r. 1 are devastating. and especially now when we are once again confronted with a huge, huge natural disaster in japan that can have ramifications on particularly on hawaii and the west coast guard -- -- west coast against shows the foolishness of these kinds of massive cuts that really disable our ability to deal with these disasters. i yield back. mr. schrader: breaking news in oregon. mr. defazio: i just got an email and got to take a phone call in the cloorm. they just announced some heavy waves have come into the harbor, this would be the third period of waves. the fourth or fifth might be the
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worst. the port tells me the docks are breaking apart. luckily since we had ample warning because we still do have noaa and we still do have buoys before these republican cuts go into effect, there were no people on the docks. at this point we are not aware anyone has been injured. but this is a serious and developing situation. i would expect the gentleman's district just novert mine -- north of mine is probably having a similar experience. mr. schrader: we are on the phone rit now trying to mke sure the folks are safe. i do know that the schools have beenevacuated. and the lower elevations that are very flood prone, theyave taken precautions. thank goodness, thanks to the comments i have heard from the gentlelady from hawaii and th congressman from washington as well as my colleague from oregon, we have some of these programs in place that can actually save lives and make sure that the economic infrastructure hopely in the --
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hopefully in the future is not at risk. just this morning i had a visit fromhe oregon state university talking about a program that's in danger because of these cuts, because of the cuts to national science foundation programs, along with n.i.h. and anything else that's got research that the republicans are trying to cut away, that they've got a great prospect. they have hired 25 people already. they are putting buoys on the floor of the ocean and sensing devices to actually have real-time monitoring of ocean nditions. so we can actually anticipate what's going object happening long before it actually hits our coast. we can also plan, plan our fisheries, plan what we need to do with ocean acidfication that's devastating oysters up and down the coast on the pacific coast. and actuallin other parts of the world right now. the leading research is being done in my district, in my district on oyster larva and trying to make sure that ocean
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acidfication does not cause a problem. that stuff is in danger right now. i dot think some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle understand how important this stuff is. we are going to have to be watching very carefully i thi going forward to make sure there are not these bludgeoning deep cuts that are not really smart. where's the discussion about the duplicative programs? we just had a great g.a.o. report. i have heard a lot of posturing on the other side. it's not included in h.r. 1. there's programs -- look at this. in afghanistan and iraq, we've got usaid programs and department of defense rebuilding the country. there's not even a centralized data system that tracks u.s. government -- u.s. funds used. that's crazy. why aren't we looking at that? why isn't that part of what we are working on? our domestic food assistance programs. there's 18 different programs. i want to see something in a dget resolution or a proposal going forward that talks about streamlining some of this stuff.
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the data collection, the administration of these programs, you could save millions and millions and perhaps billions of dollars. and here's a quote. little is known of the effectiveness of some of these programs. because they have not been well studie the b training, i talk about job training, they are taking a me axe to it. there's 47 programs in job training. let's get those organized so we can leverage the limited dollars we are going to be able to put forward in these tough economic times. same thing for transportation for the disadvantaged. 80 different programs. laudable but let's get together on this. again, there doesn't need to be 80 different programs. where are my colleagues' concrete proposals -- they are in charge, where are their proposals to improve this for goodness sakes? military health, veteran services. we got to do right by our men and women that have served this country through times good and times bad. responsibility are distributed so far widely we can't even get
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critical procurement centralized communities that would save billions of dollars. billions and billions of dollars. we also have a situation where the department of defense now if they need money, rather than go through appropriate channels, they have their urgent needs processes for developing, modifying, and fielding new military capabilities. that's being accused, folks. they found eight entities that respond to them. five for counteri.e.d. technologies. they have no way of tracking the system for this program. no way of tracking metrics for this program. must be nice. to be able to spend the taxpayers' money with no accounbility. i was at dinner the other night working on some budget isss, and it came out that when asked the department of defense was asked about contracting. how many civilian folks do you have under contra? how many people are you contracting with? their answer was, somewhere
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between one million d 10 milln. that's a big range, folks. that's a big range. department of defense has no clue as to how and what they are doing. where's that money being spent? we cannot afford rampant undisciplined, unauditible that's been used, spending in the department of defense. they are supposed to report and come in with a coherent budget. it has been determined it is unauditable, folks. we talk about the domestic side and, yes, there are certain things we can do as i'm talking about here to improve the programs, but it's also on the defense side that we have got to get our act together. let's talk about economic development. we want to make sure we are getting the biggest bang for the buck here. we have 80 different economic development programs. spread through commerce, h.u.d., usda, small business administration.
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it's all good that we are doing that, but let's have some centralized opportunities. let's leverage the resources. in my home state of oregon when i was budget chair, we would see the federal government money come in, it was different programs tied with these little strings, made it difficult for my local agencies and local communities to use the money, very, very inflexible. and that's got to end. we got to break down these sigh lows, allow people to work across the spectrum so that we can get the biggest bangor the buck. i'd also point out that in our surface transportation programs, we work really hard trying to keep america competitive. in the h.r. 1, there are huge cuts to the transportation budget. if we are going to be competitive going forward, like we were after world war ii and eisenhower, republican president, and congress put together a secure highway fund, realizing that our secury depended on having interstate highway that is were connected, you could travelt a reasonable
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rate, we need to be thinking along those same lines now. if they were worried about the cost of that rogram and not the security of this country or economic benefits, it would have never gotten off the ground. this is a capital program. and again my colleagues across the aisle don't seem to understand the difference between an operational budget and the capital budget. we need to be making infrastructure investments right now. there's an opportunity for america, probably a narrow window, the next 10 years, for us to be competitive going forward with the rest of the world. right now the developing nations that are pretty developed like china, india, they are developing a 21st century infrastructure, we are still dealing with a 20th century infrastructure, and that's not going to cut it, colleagues. that's not just not going to get the job done. we've got to be thinking about making the strategy investments. there are businesses -- so our businesses can be competitive worldwide around the globe. right now there's a new enterprise in my home state of oregon, on the coast, that's
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currently undersiege through the natural disasters, where they are actually trying to export crab, the best crab in the world, no disrespect to my colleagues from maryland, the best crab in the world comes from the pacific coast, north coast if you will, they are able to export live crab to china. but the hurdles to go tough to get there are almost insurmountable. that was started back in 2003. they tried to get a program going. because of the difficulties in transporting and some of the bureaucratic red tape to go through that, it didn't work. they have now come up with a much more viable program for a whole new industry t really export to china. instead of china exporting here and hurting our jobs, we are creating jobs in the pacific northwest and exporting high quality products to china. we need more of that sort of innovation going forward. that's the type of investment d infrastructure. we shouldn't have to ship it to vancouver b.c. to get it over
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there. we should be able to have a direct flight from portland, oregon, to make that actually happen. so i think we are missing the boat here in terms of what we are trying to effect and the issues i think that we are dealing with in this h.r. 1. we are trying to hit only domestic programs, programs that our kids depend on, penalizing the kids' future. oftentimes i hear my colleagues across the aisle talk about got to worry about our kids and grandkids. i see the photos brought to the floor. let's worry about them and support the education programs i talked about earlier. let's support the early health care prevention programs that were in the healthare bill last congress. make sure our kids don't suffer from the same problems that are debilitating obese americans right now. i mean we know that preventio is important. we must be funding prevention. we need the innovation to come up with the programs to make sure that our chronic diseases are under control. the health care cuts in h.r. 1 are unbelievable. i know it's politically the big
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mantra to roll back or repeal health care refo, but, folks, that is the wrong way to go right now. our health care system's broken, desperately needs help. my colleague from the north coast of oregon. mr. wu: i thank my -- the gentleman, my friend, my friend in the adjoining representative on my southern border, and my colleague from the state of oregon. we rise together and i rise today to recognize the tremendous tragedy that has struck japan early thi morning. this tragedy follows on other tragedies similar in nare that affected chile early this year and haiti in the very recent past. we have in the pacific northwest feel a special connection to these events because we have the cascadea fault off of coast of washington, oregon, and northern
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california. and about a 250-mile stretch of the cascadea fault is locked tight. with great regularity since the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, the furthest back that we can reach in our studies, this fault locked up, has snapped, and created earthquakes of 9.0 magnitude, very similar to the 8.9 richter scale magnitude earthquake that struck japan early this morning. our hearts go out to the japanese people, and to their friends and relatives who are here in the united states. we have an obligation and we have an ability to mitigate these problems to plan for them, and to reduce the risk to the american people and to oregonians.
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legislation past in the congress addresses these risks in a comprehensive way. by uniting the risks of fire, wind, flood, and earthquakes we can better allocate scarce resources in this era of scarce resources so that we can better get -- get a better buy on the federal dollar. different agencies are involved in reducing the risk of earthquake, we know about fema and how it can do a great job and how it can do a poor job. fema is primarily engaged in the business of recovering from natural disasters, and it is part of the all hazards legislation that i passed last session. . nist, one of the agencies under the jurisdiction of the subcommittee which i chaired last congress, nist is in the business of prevention, of
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researching what causes building failure, of doing model codes, of promulgating model codes so that the local and state building codes can encourage and indeed require more earthquake resistant buildings and indeed also other infrastructures, such as raillines, bridges and airports. these are all important infrastructure that in chile survived to a decent extent with the severe earthquake of jan, even with japan's high standards, a remarkable number of structures are currtly incapacitated and we can do better and we will do better by adequately supporting these very important research and standard setting agencies. furthermore, an agency that mr. schrader talked about, noaa, that is going to bring jobs to oregon and an important part of mr. schrader's congressional
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district, but important to the whole northwest and our entire region, noaa does a crucial service by helping to support education. educating not just our young people but all citizens about earthquakes and especially tsunami. it is the young people just out of college who are funded with fellowships, and they call together sessions, and i've seen these sessions convened in our state of oregon, and they educate the residents about how to reduce the risk, how to behave during an earthquake, how to evuate and the best routes to take to escape. these are crucial activities, these are crucial activities to surviving an earthquake and the earthquake's natural consequence off our coast, a
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tsunami. and the not just the residents of the coast because the population of the coast is swelled several times by inland residents who come to oregon's beautiful shorene, and those students and those adults also need this education so that instead of going out to the shore to look at a receding waterline which many people in indonesia did, you know, it's a natural curiousity and you don't necessarily know that a tsunami is about to follow. this kind of education so you know, head for high ground right now. don't delay. as soon as the ground stops moving, head for high ground. this inexpensive education will save lives. it's what has been done in some parts of the world and has saved lives. it hasn't been donen other
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parts of the world and our casualty figures reflect it. the all other hazardous legislation knits these diffent components together. noaa, for education purposes, nist to set standards, to do research, to prevent building collapses and bridge collapses and other collapses which cost us money and business downtime, fema, to recover from that damage which occurs. these are ccial thin to do and we know what the price of inacti is. this government has responded heroically and well when minimal appropriate investments are made. and when those investments aren't made, when the preparing agencies aren't prepared themselves, then we have something like katrina where
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american citizens were found floating face down in the dark waters in new orleans. we should never ever fail americans in that manner again. and mr. schrader and mr. defazio and i, we'll be darned if we are going to let oregonians suffer the way some americans had , making these small dollar investments today will save lives tomorrow. it's the smart thinking to do. it's a wise thing to do. it's the right thing to do. pinch pennies and pound foolish will cost lives. i thank the gentleman for yielding me time and i yield back. mr. schrader: i thank the gentleman from the north coast of my state for his comments. they are right on the money and very, very appreciated at this time. i'd like to yield some time to the gentlelady from hawaii, our new member.
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welcome. ms. hanabusa: thank you. i'd like to first begin by extending heart felt condolences to the people of japan and they should all know that we will stand by them as they work to recover from this tragic disaster. but i'd also like to say thank you. thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have come up to me today and they've asked a single question -- is everything all right at home? is your family all right? do you have family in japan? and it didn't matter whether one was an r or one was a d, those concerns were genuine. as i walked over here, a guard asked me, ms. hanabusa, is everything ok at home? it struck me, we are a people and we are always going to be there to help others.
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we must also look is why hawaii has really been prepared for these kinds of disasters. you know, and i do congratulate both the pacific tsunami warning center as well as our officials back home who did an excellent job preparing. but i'd also like people to consider what it cost and how we're able to come here. remember wh the good senar from hawaii, senator inoue, did that thing, the tsunami warning center and, yes, it was an earmark, he had the foresight as only, for example, like my good colleagues from oregon and people that represent their districts know what that district needs and started way back when with the pacific tsunami warning center. and thatas grown. if you watch the -- if you
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watched the news this morning you can hear our projections are this, we're looking at what's going on and we think it would be about two feet. we got those projections before it hit hawaii. and you know what, they were right. and what do we have to attribute to that? the ct that there was wisdom and there was funding and there was the recognition that a pacific tsunami warning center was essential. and it's not only for hawaii. it's for the whole pacific. when they wanted information, what it met for guam, what it meant for japan, what it mea for the west coast, who was the expert? the pacific tsunami warning center. it is unfortunate that in h.r. 1 it stands massive cuts. it is also unfortunate that people look upon it like it's that earmark and, therefore, should be cut. i ask my same colleagues on both sides who said, is everything all right at home,
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to realize that and to recognize that the one way you can help protect not only the people of the state of hawaii but the west coast as well as anywhere in the pacific rim is to set aside labels and to recognize that it is funding like that that goes to save lives and that is what we can rely upon. so when we remember this unfortunate and tragic day, let us also remember how fortunate we were because we had information and we were prepared and how inexpensive being prepared is when you look at the investments that have been made. thank you very much, and i yield back to the gentleman from oregon. thank you. mr. schrader: i appreciate the very kind remarks and, indeed, our hearts go out to the people of japan much like they did in new zealand. very concerned about the health and welfare and i'm sure this country will come to their aid
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like it does in any disaster and like a lot of our friends did when we suffered similar consequences, whether it's katrina or the horrible attacks on 9/11. we had our brothers and sisters around the world come to our aid, and i appreciate that. i guess i'd like to ask how much time we have left in the hour, if i may. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 15 minutes. mr. schrader: ok. and to follow on the gentlelady's remarks, i think there are areas where we can get together. the illusion cutting the domestic budget for this country, the discretionary budget is going to solve our woes and put us back in financial balance and avoid the armageddon that's somewhat before us is little bit -- well, it's a horrible illusion. i don't thi my colleagues -- i really don't think it's going to be solving any of our problems. even the defense reductions that i talked about that are targeted to increase the
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efficiency of the department of defense and make sure or warriors get what they really need, including the defense budget, it's not going to get to the root cause of our debt and deficit problems. as we all know that, those two domestic and defense discretionary expenses only account for about 30%, 30% of the budget for the american people. the bulk of it is tied up in other areas. our tax code is shown to be extremely inadequate. we're collecting revenues now at an all-ti low. yeah, some is the rescission. some is the recession. but it's because we give away on tax breaks than the discretionary budget. yeah, $1.2 billioniven away in tax expenditures. we spend money on these tax breaks. it's spending money by giving away all these breaks. we need to broaden our tax breaks.
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if we need to be real in solving our budget problems we need to start to embrace some of the recommendations if not the package that the fiscal commission the president set up last year, we need to embrace those recommendations in some form. this is the real meat of the issue, colleagues. this is where the rubber meets the road. if we do not actually have the guts, the political courage to >> the house is adjourned until noon tomorrow. current funding for the federal government expires next friday. the house also plans to work on bills to in foreclosure assistance programs. dennis kucinich has said he will propose of war powers resolution that would require withdrawal of u.s. troops from afghanistan by the end of the year.
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follow the house live here on c- span. >> on tomorrow's "washington journal," we will discuss transportation. also, the response to the civil war in libya and problems in schools. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. to in potential republican presidential contenders have been making stops in key primary states. this weekend, michelle bachman in new hampshire at a fund- raiser for the republican state committee, sunday at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. eastern and pacific. >> doctors at gabrielle
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giffords hospital say that she has made considerable progress. her staff has said she plans to attend to the launch of space shuttle endeavor next month. her husband mark kelly will command the shuttle's up final mission. this is 15 minutes. >> she is making leaps and bounds in terms of her neurological recovery. several areas -- how was she doing for my cognitive level? her memory is good, her personality -- she is doing spectacularly well. her speech is getting very good. she is starting to walk with assistance. if you remember from where we were just six weeks ago, this is
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a tremendous amount of progress. she has had heard trachea on monday -- her tracheotomy taken out, so lack will have the other doctor talk about that. and then we will take questions. >> regarding her trek, this past week i was able to take that out completely. from my perspective, over the week previous to that, she had done very well in her progress that i thought it was safer to have that out and continue the next course of the rehabilitative process. the significant advancement ford, she was very excited to express that demonstrably as we could take that out for her. >> after neurologic and medical conditions improved, we have been able to upgrade her rehabilitation program further. she is able to do more in all
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aspects of the various therapies that provider every single day. >> questions? >> you say you have been able to upgrade her rehab x -- efforts. >> that is not the only medical breakthrough we have had in the last few weeks. she has had significant neurological improvement that allow us to challenge her more in the therapy program. examples of? better movement, and better cognition, better speaking. therefore we were able to increase the stimulus for the therapy program, both in terms of difficulty and dexterity
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responding, and she is responding beautifully to this rehab program. >> you know when she will be out of here for 24 hours and be an outpatient? >> not quite yet, but we are actively addressing it. it is the question in the back of our heads. the right now our focus is on making their better and we're working toward that goal. >> is she talking in sentences? >> at the last conference, whorf thinking that she was mouthing words are not. she is clearly saying what she wants. she's starting to stirring words together. she can repeat anything that we say to her. that is an important neurological recovery act. that means that her whole primary language area is intact. she is already starting to speak in full sentences when she
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wants. for example, she said it, "i am tired and i want to go to bed." just like that. we can really have a conversation with her at this point. >> [inaudible] >> i do not know where to start. she has improved quite well and continues to improve. will more aggressively addressing therapy is toward improving movement, improvement in speaking, and in interacting with other people as well. >> [inaudible] >> two test of memory that we think about. one is memory of her childhood in past years. that is all normal. then there is a memory that we make. she does not have memory of the event, which is normal.
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and we are not fully testing and yet, but her memory is going to be great. for example, icahn pickup from the last time i talk to her and she -- i can pick up from the last time i taught to read and she remembers people when they come into the war. i do not anticipate any memory problems for her. >> [inaudible] >> they are all important. we have to make sure that it will be safe for her to perform any activity. the goal is for her to witness the launch in april. our concern is that it will be safe and appropriate for her to do that. >> she will probably be transported. >> it is still too early.
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right now we do not have any details that we can share for you. we are still planning. we have a lot of options we are considering at this point. >> what about the skull? when the anticipated being reattached? >> typically we replace that three to four months after the injury. there is no rush to do it. by now we're planning sometime in may, and that is the normal time frame for that. let me clarify, three the four months after injury. >> which you be able to travel without that surgery in place? >> yes.
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>> no indication that she has any memory of that week leading up to that event or of that date? >> she does not have any memory of that event and that is normal for patients to suffer that kind of injury. knowing what we know about her injury and beyond the examination, i do not think she will have any memory problems outside of this one event. >> 3 hours of free have a day, has that been increased? >> sometimes more. as dr. kim said, she is able to say when she is tired. we give her time for rest as well. as we assessed for progress, we change the type of therapy but the duration and scope of therapy each day. >> is he able to feed or dress herself?
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-- is key able to feed her dress herself? -- is she able to feed or dressers up? >> the amount of assistance that sienese has decreased significantly. -- that she needs has decreased significantly. >> [inaudible] what is our capacity when it comes to a give-and-take with someone else? >> we can engage her for long periods of time during therapy or in between 30. >> i typically examine and evaluate her. we accomplish the entire process and she assists me when she needs to. she can take this out for that off. i have not noticed any deficits there.
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>> which to put in the context for us how remarkable progress has been? >> quite remarkable and better than what we had expected. the last time we had the press conference, many of you were here and i mentioned having to assess her progress and her response to the therapy. we will change her therapy program based on that. that has been happening quite frequently because she has been improving quite well. once we achieve some goals, we would change the therapy program to reach higher levels. we have been kept busy rebuilding the program. >> [inaudible] >> i think it is too early to
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tell about that. i think that she will make an excellent recovery. >> [inaudible] >> we do not expect a vision problems. paralysis is not gone yet, but she is already walking, and it points to how much streaky -- she has to gain. that is what dr. francisco was talking about before. we cannot initiate walking there be if the leg strength is not strong enough. given that it is only been two months and she is already walking, that is a favorable sign that she will be even stronger over the next few months. >> [inaudible] >> i did that to the question. -- i did not hear the question. a lot -- we are very demanding
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of our patients, we challenged our patients every time. in the short term, i expect her to do more of what she is doing with a decreasing amount of assistance. when she achieves those goals, we will think about the future goals. >> what type of interaction you have on a daily basis? >> a lot for me has been a fair way management -- airway management. i see how she has been progressing from that standpoint. we've been challenger airways -- we have been challenging her airway, and to the extent that that was a monumental step for her, she recognize that and give a very favorable this up, pumped his response when the truck came
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out. that in my -- when the trach came out. that has been my interaction. >> when i see here each day, i try to see. different times of the day. i want to see how she does in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, during or between therapy, so that i can modify the rehab program is needed. i examined her, i did both physical and functional examination either by myself for with my colleagues, including dr. jacob joseph, my associates. we have others taking care for. and the therapist. i am their eyes. since i am based here, if we see problems, i'll urge my colleagues. -- alert my colleagues.
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>> [inaudible] >> she has been remarkably -- she has a personality already showing through. she is very upbeat. focused on getting better. patients often direct -- react differently to events like this. she has not shown depression. she has been very forward- looking and even with the speech, she is not showing much frustration. part of that is because she is making some progress. it's exciting for everyone, including her, that she's getting better on an almost daily basis. >> can she expressed to you in some way that she recognizes that progress? how does she do that? >> yes, she does. she lets us know. she gets excited when there is a
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new accomplishment. >> how does she do it? >> much like you and i would do. a big smile. we know when she knows she has accomplished in importance -- an important milestone. oh, yes. we are seeing her personality and compared to when she was brought here a couple months ago, i feel like i know her very well because she was able to express her personality, express what she wants and does not want. >> we would say that there are not flashes. that is gabby and she is working and it is not like we're seeing it occasionally. it is a constant, wonderful thing. >> [inaudible] >> it varies -- anywhere from three to five hours, depending on the goals we want to
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accomplish that week. >> [inaudible] >> with upgraded that their programs -- in addition to exercises that directly address impairment such as weakness, we address on functional activities. >> [inaudible] >> of course, and gas. girard said earlier that we will assessor over the next few weeks. there is a good possibility that she will be there. i think we will start wrapping this up. maybe one or two more questions. >> a personal goal that she is striving for, to go to the launch? >> of course you would like to be there if possible.
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to see her husband to this. >> sometimes people talk about -- personalities changed. >> i think that as early to say but i think probably not. i do not think there will be an issue. >> who will tell her about the event? >> this will be the last question. i think she has been told. both by her husband and by s. i think she understands. obviously she needs to know. that has been part of the process. i think that is that. >> [inaudible] how much of that does she know? >> we were not there when this occurred so we cannot answer
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that question. >> [inaudible] >> that is correct. as i understand, it was about her and not so much the whole event at this point. those kind of details we should probably put off for now. thank you very much. >> coming up on c-span, president obama at today's white house news briefing. opponents from muammar al- gaddafi's rule in libya: the international community to recognize their trenches and no government. the head of the u.n. appoints a special envoy to libya, and the u.s. house the basic mortgage assistance programs. >> you are watching c-span, bringing you politics and
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public affairs. every morning it is "washington journal," our live call-in program about the news of the day, connecting you with elected officials, policymakers, and journalists. weekdays, watch live coverage of the u.s. house, and on weeknights, congressional hearings and policy forums. also supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, "the communicators," and on sundays, "newsmakers," "q&a," and prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. you can also watch our programming any time at, and it is all searchable at our c-span video library. c-span -- washington your way, a public service created by america's cable companies. >> at this white house news conference, president obama said that the u.s. is prepared to use its strategic petroleum reserve if oil supplies are significantly disrupted by events in the middle east. the president also talks about u.s. efforts to respond to the earthquake and tsunami in japan. from the white house, this is
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about 50 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. before i begin, i want to say a few words about the earthquake and tsunami that struck japan earlier today. our thoughts and prayers are with the people of japan. this is potentially a catastrophic disaster, and the images of destruction are simply are breaking. japan is, of course, one of our strongest and closest allies, and this morning, i spoke with prime minister kan. on behalf of the american people, i conveyed our deepest condolences. especially the victims and their families and not offered
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whatever assistance needed. -- and also offered whatever assistance is needed. we currently have an aircraft carrier in japan and another is on its way. we also have a ship en route to assist as needed. the defense department is working to account for all our military personnel in japan. the state department is working to account for and assist any and all american citizens in the area. tsunami warnings have been issued across the pacific. we have seen waves come ashore in alaska and hawaii, as well as on the west coast. we are taking this very seriously. we are monitoring the situation closely. fema is fully activated and is coordinating to support these regions as necessary. let me stress -- if people are told to evacuate, do as you are
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told. today's events reminded us of how fragile life can be. our hearts go out to those who recover and rebuild from this tragedy. let me say a few words about something on the minds of many americans, and that is the price of gasoline. in an economy that relies on oil, the price is affecting everyone. from farmers and truck drivers to restaurant owners and consumers. businesses see the rise in prices affect their bottom line. families flinch every time they fill up the tank. of course, rising prices are not a new phenomenon. three years ago, before the recession hit, a combination of
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factors, including rising gas prices from emerging economies like china, drove prices to over $4 a gallon. there was a worldwide recession and a decrease in demand that pushed prices back down. over the past year, global demand for oil has increased. turmoil in north africa and the middle east has added uncertainty to the next. here is the good news. the global community can manage to supply disruption. the global community is committed to filling in gaps. we will work closely with international partners to keep all options on the table when it comes to any supply
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disruptions. should the situation demanded, we are prepared to release the significant amount of oil we have in the strategic petroleum reserve. we have resources to monitor any possible manipulation in the oil markets. i am asking state agencies to work with their state's attorney general to make sure no one is taking advantage of families at the pump. in addition, we are more prepared than we used to be. today we use 7% less oil than we did in 2005, partly because our economy as a whole is more efficient. we are adapting. we are producing more oil and we are importing less. our automakers are manufacturing more fuel- efficient cars. some get more than 50 miles to a gallon. and our consumers are buying more of these cars.
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democrats and republicans came together to pass a fuel tax cut that is already helping to grow our economy and create jobs. in the wake of rising gas prices, it should also help to act as a cushion for working families. it is our mission to do everything we can to get gas prices down. that gas tax will save $1,000 for every american family this year. that tax relief package is a key reason that even with the prices, economists and investors like warren buffet believe we should still expect solid growth and job creation this year. now, the hard truth is, as long as our economy depends on foreign oil, we will be subject to price runs. so, we have got to get moving on a comprehensive energy strategy that improves production and energy
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conservation, and increase our access to energy supplies in the near term. we have to make our economy more energy independent over the long run. we need to continue to boost domestic production of oil and gas. last year, we reached our highest level since 2003. let me repeat that. our oil production reached its highest level in seven years. but the production from federal waters in the gulf of mexico reached an all-time high. for the first time in a decade, imports accounted for less than half of what we consumed. in the notion that my administration has shut down domestic co-production might make a good headline, but it is
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not true. we are encouraging offshore exploration and production. it is responsible. we are only a few months removed from the worst oil spill in our history. what we have done is put in place, and place -- common sense standards. oil companies are stepping up to improvement 35 new offshore oil permits that meet these new standards. there is more we can do, however. for example, the industry holds leases on tens of millions of acres were they are not producing a thing. i have selected the interior department to determine how many leases are going undeveloped and report back to me in two weeks so we can encourage these companies to produce american energy. people deserve to know that their resources are being developed in a timely manner. we are working with industry to
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explore new frontiers, safety measures, and canteen and technology. we are looking at new development in alaska, onshore and offshore. we are strengthening our key energy relationships with other nations, something i will discuss the the president of brazil next week. positive actions can increase domestic oil production in the short and medium-term. but it is not a long-term solution. even if we started drilling new wells tomorrow, that oil is not coming on line overnight. even if we tap every reserve available to us, we cannot avoid the fact that we only control 2% of the world's oil but we consume over a fifth of the world's oil. t. boone pickens made a fortune
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in the oil business and he could not be considered an enemy of oil drilling. but even he said that this is one problem cannot drill our way out of. we cannot place our bet on finite resources that we only control 2% of the, especially resources hon. to hurricanes, war, and political turmoil. if we want to secure our long term prosperity and protect the american people from more severe blow shot in the future, the way to do it is to reduce demand into everything we can to break our dependence on oil. for example, last year, we established a groundbreaking national fuel-efficient see standards for cars and trucks. it saves money often serving 1.8 billion barrels of oil. we are working with workers in states to ensure that the fuel- efficient cars of tomorrow are
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built in united states of america. to satisfy broader energy needs, we're looking to diversify our entire portfolio. right now, all across america, we are producing homegrown feels. our scientists are looking for the next breakthroughs. and our workers are in factories, manufacturing advanced batteries that will help power our cars hundreds of miles to the gallon. these are jobs that did not exist two years ago. we want to create more of these jobs. i set a goal for america. by 2035, we need a clearer, broader array of fuel resources. so, these are just some of the
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steps we have already taken. over the course of the weeks and months ahead, we will take more. the bottom line is this -- we have been having this conversation for nearly four decades now. every few years, gas prices go up. politicians pullout the same old political playbook and nothing changes. when prices go back down, we slip back into a trance, and when prices go back up, suddenly we are shocked. i think people are tired of that. they are tired of talk. we have got to work together. democrats, republicans, and everybody in between. i do not want to leave this for the next president or for our kids. with that, let me take a few questions. i am going to start with you. >> thank you, mr. president. let's start with libya. you said you want to see
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gaddafi leave power, leave office. are you prepared to use any means necessary to make that happen? if not, why not? i know i'm in the case of some of these other uprisings, there is careful consideration not to take sides, to let the people in those countries take those decisions. so, what is the red line? >> my first priority has to be the american citizens and embassy personnel. we got that the very next day. the day after that, we imposed sanctions and mobilize the international community so that across the board, we are slowly tightening the noose on gaddafi.
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he is more and more isolated internationally. in addition to that, we have implemented a host of humanitarian aid measures. we will continue to do that. and, what we have done is we have organized a series of conversations about a wide range of options the can say. everything from 24-hour surveillance so we can monitor conditions on the ground and react rapidly to further efforts with an arms embargo. nato will be meeting on tuesday. we have been in discussions
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with arab countries as well as african countries to engage their support for such an action. in addition, secretary clinton will be meeting with the opposition in the next several days. we have determined it is important to assign a representative whose job it is to interact and determine further ways we can help them. we will be in conversation with them. nothing is off the table at this point. it is important for us to react about as swiftly as an international coalition has ever moved to impose sanctions on gaddafi. i am absolutely clear it is in the interest of the united states and the libyan people for mr. gaddafi to leave. i'm not opposed to these options.
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now, i do take very seriously making sure that any decisions i make that involve military power are thought through and are done in close consultation with secretary gates, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and all relevant personnel. any time i send united states forces into a potentially hostile situation, there is risk. there are consequences. it is also important from a political perspective to, as much as possible maintain the strong international coalition have right now. >> you impose all the sanctions. he thinks that there is no other option, but to keep fighting.
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he may have the power to potentially when the standoff with the rebels. >> i think that is why it is so important for us to continue to add additional pressure. including sending a clear message to those around gaddafi that we are paying attention and we will go to the international criminal court. part of what we want to do is to change the balance not just inside of libya, but the balance around libya and the thinking about the prospects about the course that they are on. i am concerned about it. gaddafi has a stash of weapons.
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he has some troops remain loyal to him, but he has also been hiring mercenaries, even with the financial freeze he has assets. we are going to have to continue to apply pressure. that is why i say we have not taken any options off the table at this point. mimi hall. >> thank you, mr. president. just to follow up -- you say you are concerned -- is gaddafi ever an acceptable option for you? their have been discussions about the leadership negotiations. given that, how do you stand on the three-week spr? -- cr.
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>> sure. going back to the good of the -- get out the out -- gaddafi question, as i said before, the united states is determined that gaddafi should leave. we are going to do a wide range of actions to try to bring that about. it is never acceptable. i think what you are asking is -- are we going to engage in any potential military action to make that happen? as i said before, when it comes to u.s. military action, you have to balance cost versus benefits. i do not take those decisions lightly. but the be as clear as i can about the desired outcome from our perspective. that is for gaddafi to step
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down. we will work with the international community to try to achieve that, and we will be in close consultation with these opposition groups to see how we bring about this outcome. with respect to the budget, i think it is important to understand that right now, the discussion -- we are talking about how to fund the remainder of this fiscal year. this is an appropriations task. we've been in close contact with all members of congress, both parties. i have conversations with mr. mcconnell. i have had conversations with mr. boehner. i have had conversations with harry reid about how they should approach this budget problem. here is what we know. republicans in the house passed a resolution that has been rejected in the senate.
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they are not going to get 100% of what they want. the democrats have put forward spending cuts that are pretty painful to give republicans already have of what they are seeking. many of those cuts are ones that were embodied in the budget i proposed for 2012. here is what we know. both sides are going to have to sit down and compromise on prudent cuts somewhere between what the republicans were seeking that has been rejected, and what the democrats have rejected. it should not be that complicated. every day i talked to my team. i give them instructions. in terms of how the participate in the negotiations, to indicate what is acceptable, what is not acceptable.
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we should be able to get this completed. because neither democrats nor republicans will compromise until their 100% position is voted down in the senate, we have probably lost some time. we will probably not meet next week's deadline. which means we may have one more short-term extension. let me just make one more point about this. first, we cannot keep running the government based on the by- week extension. we have a war in afghanistan going on. we have a wide range of issues. and the notion that we can do last year's budget with
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sensible, but prudent spending cuts, i think, defies common sense. i think we should get it done. point two -- there will be certain things house republicans want, but i will not accept. the reason i will not accept them is not because i do not think we have to cut the budget. we do. we have already put forward significant cuts in discretionary budget, some of which have not made members of my own party happy. but the notion that you would cut pell grants when we know the single most important thing to our success as a nation is how educated our kids are, and the proposal this year would cut $800 out of pell grants for 8 million kids.
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that makes no sense. the notion that we would decide that under the republican budget proposal to eliminate 200,000 slots in headstart, that would mean the layoffs of 55,000 teachers. that does not make sense. the principle i have tried to put forward since the state of the union is we have to live within our means, we have to be serious about managing our budget, but we cannot stop investing in our people, in research and development, infrastructure, the things that will make as competitive over the long term and help with the future. i communicated directly to
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speaker boehner, as well as to republican leader mcconnell that we want to work with them to get to a sustainable discretionary budget. and the think it is important for us to stop funding programs that cannot work. we will have to make sure we hold the line and comes to these critical programs that are either going to help us out-educate, out-innovate, or out-build other countries. one last point on the budget. the republican budget passed out of the house included are range of what are called "riders." these are not really budget items. these are political. i made it clear to speaker boehner that we're happy to discuss any of these riders,
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but my general view is, let's not sneak these into a budget debate. if republicans are interested in social issues they want to promote, they should put a bill on the floor of the house. promote it. send it to the senate. but do not try to use the budget as a way to promote political or ideological motives. that is the american people's view as well. one of the messages the american people have sent is, get serious about living within our means, managing the budget in a responsible way. stop the political bickering. if we have that in mind, i think that not only can get this short-term issue resolved, but i think we can actually solve the long-term budget
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issues as well. i will take another one. >> thank you. experts say they cannot recall a time when they have had to rush to assist in nuclear power plant in another country before. what can you tell us about how serious this is in japan? second question p.j. crowley of the state department said that the treatment of bradley manning by the pentagon was ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid. i am wondering if you agree with that. thank you. >> on point number one, i spoke with prime minister kan and specifically asked him about the vulnerability of nuclear plants in response to the earthquake. he indicated they are monitoring the situation closely. so far they have not seen
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evidence, but they have to take all precautions. i have asked our energy secretary to be close contact -- we are in close contact with their personnel to provide any assistance if necessary, but also to make sure that if in fact there are breaches in the safety system on these nuclear plants that they are dealt with right away. with respect to private manning, i have asked the pentagon whether or not the procedures regarding his confinement are appropriate in meeting our basic standards. they assure me they are. i cannot go into details about some of their concerns. some of this has to do with private manning's safety as well. >> [unintelligible] >> i think i gave you an answer to the substantive issue.
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>> [unintelligible] >> i do not have all the details. i have to defer that. this only happened a few hours ago. there has to be a lot of fact finding to determine. >> in an interview with abc news, the doubt the's son said said the plan was to squash the rebels without mercy. if the plan of the united states is to stand by and do nothing -- and they say that because any past you have said the united states has some moral obligation to intervene militarily. >> i believe that not only the
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united states, but the international community has an obligation to do what it can to prevent a repeat of something like what occurred in the balkans, what occurred in rwanda. part of the example is meeting 24-hour surveillance of the situation. if you start seeing defenseless civilians who are being massacred by gaddafi's forces. but obviously, we are going to have to look at the conditions on the ground on a case by case basis. it is going to require some judgment calls. we have sent a clear warning to
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the gaddafi government that they will be held accountable, particularly when it comes to assaulting civilians. some of the rhetoric that we have seen -- for example, when gaddafi said they would be going door to door, hunting for people who were participating in protest, you know, that implied that implied a lack of restraint and ruthlessness that i think raises our antenna. but, as i said before, we are monitoring the situation and a matching our actions with what we think will be helpful on the ground and also sustainable and we have to do so in consultation with the international community. . >> do you agree with your top intelligence officials who said
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that it is likely that the gaddafi regime will prevail in the long run? is this something that he needs to be taken to -- for. >> he was making a hardheaded assessment about military capability. i don't think that anyone disputes that gaddafi has more firepower than the opposition. he was not stating the policy. let me be clear as to what our policy as determined by me, the president of the united states is. i believe that gaddafi is on the wrong side of history. i believe that the libyan people are anxious for freedom and the removal of someone that has oppressed them for decades now. we will be in contact with the opposition to try to achieve a goal mr. gaddafi being removed
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from power. >> thank you, mr. president. you talked about the option of tapping the strategic petroleum reserve. can you walk me through the steps before that? oil price and gas price? and secondly, can you talk about a new addition to energy shock, what are the most grievous parts what is your administration doing about it? to>> the answer to your first question is no. i will not go through what prices would trigger the release of the reserve. the idea behind the strategic petroleum reserve is if there was a severe disruption in
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supply, similar to what happened in february, where we were making a decision about whether to sell or not, help our country would continue, whether we had sufficient supplies for that. another example would be in katrina, when you had a lot of supplies that are impacted. that was another example of a short-term sell level. refineries are actually operating at fairly full capacity at the moment. the problem is uncertainty in the oil markets. part of this is the fact that the economy is growing faster in some places than others, but china, india, brazil, other emerging markets. oil prices went back down because of the recession.
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a lot of what is happening in prices is because that economic growth. and countries and economies are starting to use more oil. part of it is also concerned the in terms of what is happening in the middle east. we are confident about our ability to fill any potential gaps and supply. libya does not account for a large portion of world production. basically, even if libyan oil production was suspended because of the unrest, we would be able to fill that gap. so, a lot of this has to do with uncertainty in the market.
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what i want to communicate to the market is, we are going to do what we need to in consultation with the producing nations, as well as in consultation with our allies who also have reserves to make sure that will supplies remain stable and economic growth is going to continue. i do want to repeat the point that i have made though that -- towson look, the american people feel this pretty acutely. their reaction is, this is money out of my pocket. if you were in a house that requires you to commute 50 miles a day to your job, you are not going to be able to sell your house immediately and move closer, particularly in this
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market. you may want to buy a fuel- efficient car, but he may not be able to afford it and you are stuck with the old clunker that gets eight or 10 miles to a gallon. there are a lot of us who are unemployed and have low-wage jobs. they are more severely affected because they are using a higher portion of income. we are going to do everything we can, not only to stabilize the market to the extent we see any efforts to take advantage of these price gouging -- we're going to go after that. if we see significant disruptions or shifts in the market that are so disconcerting that we think the strategic petroleum reserve
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release would be proper, we will take that step. this is not a situation where it would take a big bureaucracy and several weeks for us to implement. this is something that would take several days. with respect to the overall economy, i think my assessment and the assessment of most economists is that although gas prices are risen right now and taking the tax cuts and using it to buy gas instead of other items, that is an important because of steps we took, both
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democrats and republicans, during the lame duck session, that the economic growth is better than expected. we saw the unemployment rate dropped a full point. overall, i am positive. we are moving slowly, but surely into positive job growth over the next seven months. there are areas we're still concerned about. housing is one i just mentioned. housing prices have fallen so steeply. we are still hurting. some of them are the threatened with foreclosure because they lost their job. some of them want to sell their house. the mortgage is higher than what their house would sell for right now. we have steps to encourage banks to take steps that would alleviate some of that burden and start putting some of those
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homes on the market. we still have about $5 trillion worth of product. i mentioned the discussion with warren buffet a couple of weeks ago, and his point was, look. i am bullish about this economy. the market takes time to work itself up. we have a housing bubble. there was so much construction, particularly in certain states. that was compounded by the overall recession. we're continuing to take our range of steps for that process of recovery. the last point i make -- it relates back to the budget issues the talk about.
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if you look at the last jobs report -- in the private sector, it is very strong. we lost jobs, that is the state and local governments. that means teachers being laid off. firefighters being laid off. we are able to cushion some of that through the recovery act. it made a huge difference across the country. but now, states are continuing to cut. local governments are continuing to cut. i think it is important to understand that long-term debt and deficits are not caused by having a head start teachers in the classroom. our deficits are caused primarily by escalating health- care costs we see in medicare and medicaid that is putting huge pressure on the overall budget.
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that is why it is important for us to have a conversation after we get the short-term budget done about how do we really tackle the problem of comprehensive -- in a comprehensive way? not by going after headstart or the organizations for public broadcasting. it means we have to make sure we are tackling defense spending, tax loopholes, that we are tackling entitlements and we are thinking about how to be
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really get our arms are and what is driving the debt and deficit in a serious and bipartisan way. i will make this the last question. >> thank you, mr. president. you have had talks with other leaders in the middle east. are you looking at how other leaders in the region can be supported to stay in power in the middle east? >> i have had conferences with leaders throughout the middle east. i've had a fairly consistent message from all of them. number one, the united states believes in the rights of peaceful protest and the rights of ordinary people to express
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grievances to the governments. we oppose the use of violence in response to a peaceful protest. that is one message we tried to send. the second message we tried to send is it is in the interest of the entire region to reform itself, politically and economically, so that the talents of young people throughout the region can be tapped. so the young man, whether he is in tripoli or she is in cairo, that they know if they work hard and are getting an education, then they have an opportunity to live a better life, that they can get a job that pays a good wage and supports their
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family, that they have the basic necessities of life, and they have personal security and freedom. now, each country is different. so, the evolution, the process toward revision will differ in each country. my consistent message to leaders in the region is that this process of change can be a great opportunity for the middle east because if you can tap into the talent of those young people, you can start seeing the economic growth in that region you are seeing in other places in the world. there is no reason why countries in the middle east should not have the same kind of growth rate you see in china and india. there is nothing inherent about the people in those countries to prevent that. what is preventing that is for many decades you have seen a
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lack of opening up that allows you to take advantage of the world economy. as i said, each country is going to be different and it will ultimately be up to the people of those countries to determine how all to seize this opportunity. we should be on the side of those who want to seize this opportunity. ok? >> [unintelligible] >> from the japanese media. because we are concerned about what is happening there. >> thank you, mr. president. on the tragedy in japan -- i would like to ask about your personal feeling on the situation. you went to japan last year. people are devastated.
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i just want to ask about your personal feelings on that. and the japanese government asked for help for citizens in japan. are you waiting to provide assistance? >> yes. i told prime minister kan we will provide whatever assistance they need. my understanding is they are at capacity, the ability to allow us to help them to clean up from a tsunami like this, as well as an earthquake. you have huge disruptions. both in the infrastructure, boats and houses and cars washed into main thoroughfares. and that requires heavy equipment.
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so, any assistance we can provide will be provided. yes, i am heartbroken about this tragedy. when you see what is happening in japan, you are reminded that for all our differences, culturally, or in language or religion, that ultimately, humanity is one. and when we face these types of natural disasters, whether it is in new zealand or haiti or japan, then you think about your own family and you think, how would you feel if you lost a loved one? or if your entire life savings was gone? and the japanese people are such close friends of ours. and i have close personal connections to the japanese
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people. i grew up in hawaii where i was very familiar with japanese culture. that just makes our concerns that much more acute. i am very confident that, obviously, that the japanese people are so resource all. japan is such a powerful economy. and such an advanced economy technologically that that will successfully lead them. they had experience dealing with natural disasters. japan will come back stronger than ever. all right? thank you, gentlemen. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> next on c-span, opponents of muammar gaddafi call on the international community to recognize the provisional government. the u.n. secretary general appoints a special envoy. then the u.s. house discusses home mortgage assistance. >> potential republican presidential contenders have been making stops in keep states. -- key states. this weekend, rep michelle
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bachmann in nassau. >> the ambassadors are calling upon foreign governments to recognize the provisional government in libya. this is hosted at the national press club. >> in the name of god, the most compassionate, the most merciful, or statements from libyans residing in the united states and canada. after more than 41 years of living in one of the world's -- worst attack on terri regimes in the world, the libyan people have risen up to express their aspirations for freedom and democracy and peaceful demonstrations.
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the world has been shocked by it gaddafi's regine's response and by his public threats to eliminate all public opponents using any means. since the beginning of the protests on february 15, the unarmed demonstrators have been exposed to excessive force, including the use of live ammunition, anti-aircraft guns, tanks, and airplanes to murder innocent demonstrators and civilians and citizens. in a manner which the world has not seen before. we, the sons and daughters of libya, residing in the united states and canada, as we pray for the souls of the martyrs and salute the struggle of our libyan people for the sake of their legitimate rights announced the following.
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gaddafi and his regime have no legitimacy and are in no way entitled to remain in power. we call for the complete and zwick application of the united nations security council resolution 1970. we give our complete support for the february 17 revolution represented by the libyan national transitional council, which was formed and consider the national transitional council the sole legitimate representative of the libyan people. we value france but the
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recognition of the national transitional council and we call on the american government, the canadian government, the arab league, the organization of the islamic conference, the united nations, the african union, and all nations of the world to recognize the national transitional council as the sole representative of the libyan people and the sole agent responsible for its welfare. the national transitional council is only by the -- the only body authorized to make decisions pertaining to the political situation in libya and to its international relations and to determine the type of request, that tight -- international support. we call on the government's --
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all governments and international organizations to provide support an urgent humanitarian aid for the libyan people who have been exposed to under president did war crimes, his children, his cronies, and his mercenaries. we call on the american government, the canadian government, libby is neighboring countries, the international community, and all the international organizations to take steps to minimize legal and strategical obstacles that hinder relief organizations so that they may provide urgent humanitarian aid for the libyan people. long live libya, free, sovereign, and democratic, united under its capital, tripoli.
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washington, d.c., united states of america, march 11, 2011. [applause] >> we welcome our guests and we will give each one of them five minutes to address us. after that, we will open the question and answer session. >> thank you very much. i am very happy to be here today and i have to thank the libyan community who have been supporting us since i came to this country. it is my pleasure to serve you and to know you and to
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cooperate with you. as you know, most of what i want to say as it just emphasize a few points. our main priority is the no-fly zone. we are utilizing everything, lan, skycam air, and ground, and also seas. they are using every kind of weapon that have in their hands. we want the recognition of the nic. this is a body that we really want to corneille on the ground and have coronation with us. -- to coordinate on the ground it and have operation with the international community. the other thing we need is the humanitarian assistance. we need madison -- medicine.
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we want recognition for this council. your duty, i separated this into two things. the capital is very strong. i met with senator mccain, lieberman, and others. the capital is with us. you have to show your support for the no-fly zone and for the recognition of the council. of course [unintelligible] this situation is very serious. now they have started another wave of killing.
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today we hear that people have been killed and separated by special police and security. that is what i want to say. thank you very much. >> just to add to what he said, we received information that some elements of good of the's secret service or mercenaries have started to bomb streets and to plan mines so that it will explode. that means he is now attacking civilians with a different way of attack. i knew both guys for about 40 years as these of libyans, and he has shown the united nations security council that he is a true libyan and we welcome him here and give him the floor.
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>> it is a pleasure to be at this gathering. all of us are worried about what is going on in libya. our people are suffering, but they are afraid. -- they are afraid and courageous. -- brave and courageous. we know that freedom is not free. that is the lesson we inherited. the country of libya is very huge. this is compared to tunisia
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which is very small. to cut out this cancer will be very painful. we are ready. we will never be defeated. we have started. this tyrant will never overcome loss. we expect a lot of him, we suffered a lot of him. i do expect that they will attack in benghazi with chemical weapons. we will continue. buti am sure that he is completely insane. he is completely disconnected. he is struggling. his family is divided. at the end of the day, i think
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he is going to flee. i don't know where he will find a haven. or to commit suicide or be killed by his inner circle. he will be the last tyrant of the world. libya will be an excellent country because we suffered a lot of dictatorship. our remedy will be democracy. we will have a new religion, islam of freedom. society of freedom. we will have freedom for women, libya of freedom, youth of freedom. we are ready to fight.
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bill libyan people were at war with the italians. -- the libyan people were brave and we were at war against the italians. we have suffered a starvation at the time of the fascists. we fought the italians and the fascists. do you think that you will think of roma and have victory? if anyone attacks my country, i should resist. that is our language, not a victory or defeat. our duty is to fight and we will never surrender. thank you very much.
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[applause] >> thank you for those very warm and courageous words. the floor is for the journalist to give them the opportunity. where is the other microphone. i have one on this side and the other to be on this side. i would like everyone to recognize himself first and then address whoever they want.
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>> [speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language] >> i think that that will be discussed with the united states department of state.
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we already have the green light that we will be active to work here. actually, i had the authorization about 10 days ago from the council that represents the libyan people. [speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language]
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[speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language]
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>> whoever asks in a language will be responded to in the same language. >> ambassador, yesterday the former deputy secretary of defense, paul wolfowitz, spoke as the -- spoke of the no-fly zone as an ill-advised effort. the national security adviser spoke of other military measures. have you discussed other military measures?
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will these be able to deter gaddafi? >> this is very important for the libyan people to protect the fighters from this guy because they have no means to defend themselves against the air strike. as you know, sometimes i find it very difficult when they tried to make the issue like -- i think that the international community is serious and this is not that difficult. this guys are very clear most of the time. i believe -- the skies are very clear most of the time. i believe now through the media they have seen a situation in libya. this is a very serious situation.
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there is a massacre going on. the massacre is going on in libya and the media is able to take and show the world. there is a discussion with the department. i found that they are wasting their time. all of the options on the table, all the time. take one option at least. then, we will see more support and more recognition but this must be stopped now. now. >> thank you. >> thank you. ambassadors, we understand that you have come from the treasury department and state department. can you tell us what the content was of the discussions that you had?
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>> a long discussion regarding the libyan assets. they have about $30 billion. it is quite important to follow this process. where gaddafi got his money, we are dealing with the european union, the security council. this is the wealth of our people. we would like cooperation from the americans regarding this issue. we have a team to follow this process.
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we are looking at the situation with the food and medicine. the only organ is resisting the libyan people and the national council. he has the ability to use this money for the benefit of the libyan people. it takes time. we have on our side one expert and from their side, someone to follow this issue.
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at the state department, we had a meeting with the undersecretary and others who are following this issue of libya. we are discussing the details. what we want is some real action from nato, from the international community, from the u.n., to jam the whole systems of to indications of gaddafi. we can guarantee that our mission is still active to help our people, especially our students. he is using the air strikes against innocent people as what happened today. we're also discussing our mission in washington. i can guarantee that our mission is still active to guarantee our people, especially our students. anyhow, i think now a meeting will be held monday in paris between the secretary of state hillary clinton and the representatives of the council.
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it will be very important. we would like the recognition of friends of our national council. these revolutions are quite important. we are more stronger, gaddafi, more week -- weak. we should be patient, as i said. after 42 years dictatorship, we started our struggle. we should be patient. the european parliament, the european council, the united states. we hope that the ministerial meeting in cairo, they will have a new vision and support our people.
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we don't support slogans. we don't want any imperialism, that is nonsense. physically, we don't want any soldier to be in the libyan soil. no, we are ready to confront gaddafi. but we need technology and the support of the international community. i know that some arab countries -- i cannot say exactly -- to stand against gaddafi and recognize the national council. i asked them not to support against our people. not to stand with gaddafi
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against our people. we don't want slogans. they should do something to stop this bloodshed. we will never forget any action taken against our people to shed the blood. allen never -- our people will never forget. anyone who gives a hand to gaddafi to kill our people. thank you. [applause] >> gentlemen, i have a question for both of you. in your official capacity in the u.s., how much are you permitted to function? are you working out of the embassy?
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can you report to the u.n.? are you under the new government? what are you achieving in the u.s. during this interim period? >> well, i receive a note from the state department referencing the libyan embassy function. we have until next wednesday that i would be able to go to
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the embassy and do my job. after that, they have to seal the embassy and i will have to do -- find a place to do my activities from. >> the libyan mission in the u.n., the diplomats, the employees, they are supporting the uprising of our people. we have lots of diplomats. we are freedom fighters. we are supporting our people and we're able to do that through the mass media. -- was nominated to be the ambassador. he did not come. he is a nationalist, he is a real live yen. -- he is a real libyan. he will never be against his people. the people from his region are fighting the attacks. i don't think that he is also insane. gaddafi will never find a libyan, on aug. libyan to
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represent him anywhere. -- an honest libyan to represent him anywhere. they came to me and said, if you don't have a salary, we will share everything with you. thank you. >> thank you. the obama administration has not yet officially recognize the opposition council. they say they're waiting from assurances from you as to what your goals and motivations are for a future of libya. what assurances are you giving u.s. officials with your meetings at the state and treasury over the next couple of days?
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>> we were speaking about this council as the future of libya. in 1951, when we got our independence, we had at that time 20 or 25 graduates and we ceded to divide the constitution. my father was of the first parliament in libya. these people are able. how many students have graduated from this country?
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more than 15,000. as't listen to what gaddafi saying. the freedom takes minutes but democracy takes time. when the president stepped down, tunisia became free. to have the organs of democracy takes time. how long does it take to have democracy and concepts of democracy? libya is now free. we are continuing in the struggle to have our freedom. i am sure as i told you after this experience with gaddafi, we will have something different, real democracy.
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we have suffered from dictatorship. i think that president obama is not just a president, he is a scholar. he is working for freedom. he cannot be indifferent regarding what is going on in libya. he is responsible for that. europe is responsible for that. i am speaking about freedom, democracy, justice, a human- rights. what happened in libya? our people tried to say that we want freedom. they killed them. they did not even throw stones, nothing. they shot them. in arabic as say -- [speaking
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foreign language] [speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language] [applause]
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>> i wanted to ask you with regard to hillary clinton visit to meet with the council when she visited north africa -- when she visits north africa, what do you hope will come out of those meetings and will there be a formal request from the u.s. in terms of arms? a follow-up to my colleague's question, how cohesive is the council's position for a post- gaddafi future. are you concerned that radical elements will use this to push towards a non sequitur democracy? -- non secular democracy. >> i don't want to just use rhetoric but now we want something tangible on the ground from the americans. what we want from america come
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from the international community, from the one is quite clear. -- what we want from america, from the international community. stop gaddafi using air strikes against our people, our investments. they are able to do that. they went to iraq saying that. gaddafi says he has weapons of mass destruction. it was lies. in libya, everyone is seeing what is going on. gaddafi is killing his people. they're killing our people. they're supposed to be is people. we want them to stop the bloodshed, support our people, recognize the national council that represents the whole the yeah. the future of libya will be
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done by the libyans, not by the americans. -- recognize the national council that represents toll of libya. we have our young people, we have our officials. today, we went to the treasury department. we spoke about them. they were astonished when he told them about some details and some technical procedures. we have this generation that is able to fight. they ask, who started this resolution? -- revolution? students, women who are
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professors. libya will have a new democratic society. free women, free religion, the islam of freedom, women of freedom, society of freedom. what we want from america is quite clear. we told them, we told them, and we told the u.n., after gaddafi we are able to have and build a new libya. a democratic, free, moderate, modern. all of us are muslims, all of us are sumy's -- are sunnis. we have no factions in libya. we are oblivion's, 100%.
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we are patriots. -- we are libyans, 100%. we fought against the italians, the sacrifice is quite clear. we are proud of them. there is no difference between us. there is no tribalism in libya, we are one tribe, the tribe of libya. [applause] >> after the liberation of the cities in libya, most of the hough cities have established civilian governing bodies. these civilian governing bodies kick are made up of lawyers, judges, youth of the movement. they have done a better job and the people have seen the
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difference. what we see in the western press, people do not know what is going on in libya. they speak of things that are very alien. there is no civil war because there are no civilians fighting each other. there are the people fighting the mercenaries of gaddafi. there is no tribal divisions because we are united in a tribe called the tribe of libya. believe me, some of our friends in the media need to do some homework. we thank them for a lot but there is no extremism or al qaeda in libya. there is no civil war in libya.
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those who have been in the foreign media, they have reported it but still we hear these words around. sorry for the interruption. >> [speaking foreign language] >> do you need to go? >> are you worried about a divided libya? the behalf>> take two questions together. >> i would like to ask -- what did you asked the u.s. in terms of military assistance? did you ask for arms for


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